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Aspiring math teacher earns CSU award

Cal State Monterey Bay sophomore Jesus Ochoa Perez has been chosen for a CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement. He and the other award winners will be honored on Sept. 9 at the CSU board meeting in Long Beach.

The award is among the highest student distinctions in the CSU and is accompanied by a scholarship. Awardees must demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. Many of the honorees have prevailed in the face of disability, language and cultural barriers, intense personal loss or homelessness.

“The compelling life stories of these extraordinary student scholars are a testament to the transformative power of public higher education,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Through the generous support of our donors, many of whom are first-time contributors to the Trustees’ Award program, we are able to help these scholars create a bright and successful future.”

Jesus lived with his parents and three siblings in one room during part of his childhood, leaving him no quiet place to study. His parents, farm workers from Mexico, were determined that their children would not face the financial hardships and the physical ills of working in the fields.

I want to help others develop their love for math. I will do everything in my power to provide a learning environment that is conducive to the needs of students. – Jesus Ochoa Perez

This semester, Jesus is starting his second year at CSUMB, where he is a math major with a 4.0 grade-point average. A service learning requirement led him to an elementary school where he tutored first-graders in math – and discovered his passion for teaching. He volunteered far more than the number of hours required and continues to tutor elementary school students. He also found time to be a volunteer youth soccer coach.

Jesus is determined to be a success story from his East Salinas neighborhood by earning a teaching credential and returning to his high school to teach math.

Almost 447,000 students attend the 23 campuses of the CSU system. Only one student from each campus is honored with the Trustees’ Award. The program began three decades ago with scholarships endowed by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Since then, the generosity of current and emeritus CSU trustees and other supporters of the university has allowed the program to expand.

CSU Trustees’ Scholars are nominated by their campus presidents.

More information on the CSU Trustees Award program

Photos Above: Jesus Ochoa Perez by Jeff Lewis Below: CSU Chancellor Timothy White (left) and CSUMB President Eduardo Ochoa with Jesus at the awards reception in Long Beach on Sept. 9. Photo courtesy of the CSU